Saturday, December 20, 2014

I Have Hope

The mind of a 6th grade boy, who can understand it? Or better yet, who can survive it? I'm beginning to think, not me! My son has been a difficult one to understand since the day he bounded into my life at the age of 4. He is Oscar and I am Felix. He is Pigpen and I am Lucy. You get the picture. Let's say our relationship is complicated and exhausting and that was before the age that he is now, 11 going on argumentative and uncooperative.

Enter puberty. He is suddenly interested in gelling his hair yet, still not interested in taking a bath. He's requesting dark jeans and an Under Armour hoodie for Christmas and legos. He states that he does indeed want to pass 6th grade yet doesn't see the correlation between completing homework or studying for tests and his goal. There's too much playing and pestering to be done. Are these signs that he is growing up? Please God, let him grow up a little. I'm doubtful that this is imminent judging from what I see everyday and from what my friends who have raised sons tell me. Yet, I have hope. As long as I have God's word to encourage me, I have hope.

I was reminded just the other day in one of our Advent devotions that God sees things others don't. Samuel, the prophet traveled to see Jesse to anoint his son David as God's choice to be Israel's king, rejecting all his other sons that looked more the part. And as I recall later, David had some not so stellar moments and still God called him a man after his own heart. This gives me hope for my son.  I  just need to find a field somewhere for my son to tend sheep and fight off lions and bears and learn from God.

The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7








Monday, December 8, 2014

It's Worth the Messy Mess

I'm celebrating my survival of 14 messy days with my three precious grand babies, their parents, and all their baby stuff. It was touch and go and not without tears but those were due to a turkey incident when tensions were especially high. Incidentally, I do not have a good track record with turkeys. I remember another memorable year when we had guests that were not family and the turkey was simultaneously raw on the inside and charred to a crisp on the outside. Those guests never returned to our house for Thanksgiving and I don't blame them. Turkeys are not my friends.


Laura and Kristen on the other hand are my very best friends and my favorite people to be with and are in a very messy season of life with their little ones. And by messy, I mean my sweater getting soaked when Bridget's diaper was apparently saturated immediately after visiting Santa. The adorable cousin picture with Santa that we got was worth that mess. Being with them was also worth the mess of baby stuff covering every surface high and low in my house. This is huge for someone who is unable to go to bed with dishes in the sink or pillows out of place on the couch. I would have taken a picture of the family room but was unable to find a place to perch where baby or beast or baby item was not. It was worth the mess to spend one evening watching and laughing at home movies when Laura and Kristen were babies and I let them eat pop tarts off the floor. This horrified these sanitized millennial mommies but I stand by my parenting. Pop tarts are my friends.



Although I purchased paper plates and plastic cups to use, somehow they were hardly used. Instead our dishwasher had to be loaded and run continually to keep up with the dishes that were dirtied. This mess was worth having Lucy help me make reindeer cookies and an "apple bie" just to hear her say "apple bie" and watch her lick the sugar off her entire hand. A girls got to do what a girls got to do for the sweet stuff!


I also got to keep Wyatt for his very first overnight, giving Kristen and Ben a brief time away. Getting to bathe Wyatt's little body as he babbled and splashed in the big rubber duck and later having him fall asleep in my arms at bedtime was too sweet for words.


Though I am glad to be able to see my floor again, I already miss seeing their sweet morning faces. I know that the next time I see them, they will have grown up a little bit more. I am blessed to have these little people in my life with all their unbearable sweetness. They are definitely worth the mess.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Wonderful Surprise

We kept our two granddaughters, Lucy (2 1/2) and Bridget (5 months) for one day/night to give Laura and Jason, their mommy and daddy a well needed break. Armed with several bags of frozen breast milk, a double stroller and surprisingly few instructions compared to keeping Lucy overnight for the first time, I was ready. What a difference baby number two makes! Oh and I had 3 willing helpers, our three younger children at the ready to entertain and help. My help however mysteriously disappeared when the time came for changing dirty diapers and getting up for Bridget's night time feedings. Still, having a 10 and 11 year old to give Lucy piggy back rides and help with getting diapers and bath towels and sippy cups and Daddy Owl and Baby Owl and pajamas and more cheese and more milk and a brush to brush Lucy's glorious hair was awesome! And how can I ever forget Lucy dancing while Lucas practiced his saxophone.
video


It was a blissful time to spend with two of our newest family members. I just can't resist Bridget's chubby arms and legs and Lucy's adorable voice saying Geee Geee and Opps and Chipmunk for the first time. Time has no meaning at all when babysitting. It's moment to moment with babies, a nice chance to slow down and see the world through their brand new eyes. I spent my entire day mostly on the floor watching Bridget mesmerized by what her feet and her hands could do and a furry moving being,  Roxy our very patient dog. I was doing my best to keep up with Bridget's every 3 hour feedings and every 2 hour naps. Or did I have that backwards?


I couldn't help but see God's beautiful hand in our family. Of course, He saw this day before the beginning of time when our young children would play with our grandchildren and that they would love each other to pieces. But it is a wonderful surprise to me.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

California Dreaming

Visited beautiful Newport Beach, California today on our annual girls' trip. This year we have not one, but two babies in tow as both Laura and Kristen are still nursing their youngest ones. It was a short trip to the beach because of the babies, hardly worth the sunscreen application, but one that I will never forget. Laura and I have come to check out Kristen and Ben's new digs in California. Yes, she moved too many miles away from us! It's fun to look back on our girls' trips of past years. Our activities have changed dramatically since our first trip five years ago. On our first trip, shopping encompassed at least half of our trip, interspersed with luxurious dining and margaritas, long walks by the Charleston harbor filled with meaningful conversations and of course more shopping. Babies have a way of changing one's life to the fullest.
Radioactive Margaritas

This year we had precious little shopping time and our meals resembled a Chinese Fire Drill as it was a race against time when one or both babies needed to be nursed, fed, changed or held, usually all of the above. It's uncanny. It must be their brand spanking newborn noses that smell piping hot food that rouses them from their slumber. It's not in their best interest as their mommas need to eat to produce milk! My girls are also very attentive mothers, much more than I was. I don't remember their crying bothering me quite as much as it bothers them but this could be God's grace that I forgot. On the way home from attending church one evening we had to stop and pick up pizza. Both babies were inconsolable for one of the above reasons, producing a cacophony in Kristen's minivan. Wyatt in particular began his hyperventilating cry. Desperation ensued and at one point, Kristen yelled out," George save us!" as she thrust her PBS Kids Curious George app on her IPhone for me to give to her 8 month old son. And this was right after singing praise to Jesus! Of course she didn't actually attend the service. She volunteered to let Laura and I listen to the message while she strolled Bridget around the book store. I will therefore give her a pass on her misdirected statement of salvation. It didn't work anyway. Meanwhile I was waiting in line behind a very relaxed group of people to sample various micro brew beers before ordering their pizza. The contrast between the stress in the minivan and the relaxed group in the pizza place couldn't have been greater.
Margarita time!

Now that I think about it, I do remember trying to appear that I had it all together with my babies when I really didn't. I think I just tried to hide it better. I also remember listening outside their door to hear if they had stopped crying. I was also the thinnest I've ever been because my diet consisted of whatever I could grab while standing at the kitchen counter while I wasn't feeding, holding or changing. Who am I kidding, I was equally stressed!

As you can see, going out was somewhat stressful so we spent lots of time on the floor of Kristen's house playing with Wyatt and Bridget. This was easier on all of us and quite enjoyable, once we gave up on the idea of luxurious shopping. We did have a full 20 minutes of speed shopping when Laura almost purchased Jason a pair of socks she knew he wouldn't wear! Mostly though we slowed down our pace and had a wonderful time experiencing the world through Wyatt and Bridget's eyes, playing with blocks and rattles and busy boxes. We watched Wyatt stand independently for a few seconds as he prepares to take his first steps and Bridget practice grabbing things and smiling and cooing. I can still remember the sweet sound of her voice.

I'm sad that it's over as I had looked forward to it since last year. I especially enjoyed spending uninterrupted time with the youngest members of our family and with my equally sweet big girls. Maybe the babies are the ones who have it right. Just hanging out with their mommies and Gigi is the best way to spend our precious time together. It takes some of us awhile to get it.

and a little child will lead them. Isaiah 11:6

Monday, August 11, 2014

Way Down Yonder By the Chattahoochee

As an elementary school teacher with a reading specialization, I'm all for children reading as much as possible. Reading after all is vital to learning. Reading can take you to wonderful places real or make believe. I have since learned that this is not the case for everyone. This is most definitely not the case for my 11 year old son. For him, reading is anything but wonderful and can be down right painful for both of us. He would rather stick needles in his eyes than read or even postpone reading and so would I. Once, he chose to pick up dog poop rather than read! Suffice it  to say, fulfilling Summer Reading/Reading Counts requirements are not happy times at our house.

But we want happy times at our house! What's a mother to do? Go running with him of course! We went for our maiden run last week by the Chattahoochee River to practice for his Cross Country Team evaluation. He ran 3 miles without stopping, no problem. He wasn't even breathing hard! It helps when you are 11 years old, 70 lbs with zero percent body fat. But more importantly, running took both of us to a new and wonderful happy, sweaty place of bliss. Will my son be able to make a living running? Will running help his reading? Will he ever run with me again? Will he pass 6th grade? The answers to these and other questions are unknown to me at the moment, but at least when we can't read another page of Where the Red Fern Grows, we can go for a run.









Sunday, July 20, 2014

Heaven is Real

Heaven is real and I'm in grand baby heaven at my house with Lucy,Wyatt and Bridget. Yes, they come with lots and lots of baggage, literal baggage. I'm talking musical piano play mats, an
English and Spanish talking bus, a musical rolling turtle with a mirror and multiple video monitors. And that doesn't include the one dimensional toys like baby dolls and board books and puzzles, teethers, pacifiers, etc.. I haven't seen the floor of my family room for 2 weeks!



But their tiny hands, their chubby little legs and their sweet little faces, I find them hard to resist and don't. I can barely stand their cuteness and can't believe how much I love them. They are blessings from God and I'm soaking up every moment with them while they will still let me hold them. It's already hit or miss with Miss Lucy and she's only 2! Miss Lucy is on the move and in one big hurry!



Three babies under one roof along with our three younger ones who have graduated to mostly helpers now is a challenge, but we are up to the task. We went on several walks, went to the outlet mall, the zoo, the pool, Pappasitos, and more. Yes, we spent an inordinate amount of time in dressing rooms to nurse/change the babies, but it still counts. Our ability to go anywhere was dependent on who needed to be fed, napped, changed or entertained the most. Suffice it to say, Gigi never made to the top of the list and never did get a potty break!


I found the dance of the strollers entertaining as well. We would start out optimistically with the babies in one of their many respective strollers depending on whether the outing required a jogging stroller, shopping stroller or light umbrella stroller. No matter the stroller, it was approximately 15 minutes before the babies would become unhappy and we would end up carrying them while pushing the strollers. Babies can sense when their mommies are not expending the most energy to care for them and are quick to rectify this situation. This can have more than the obvious downside of being difficult. Laura walked out of Gymboree without her stroller/phone/wallet because she was carrying Bridget in the front pack and forgot it. Thankfully thieves are not frequenting Gymboree even though they should. Everything in the store was $9.99 or below and it's filled with distracted mothers!


Heaven is seeing my now grown babies become amazing, loving, self sacrificing mommies to their little ones, all with little sleep! There is nothing sweeter than witnessing sweet mommy love. Lucy, Wyatt, and Bridget thank you and so do I!
















Saturday, June 7, 2014

Watch That Speed!

Oh the joy of a living, breathing Driver's Education student riding in the car with you. Since our daughter's completion of 30 hours of the classroom portion of Driver's Education, Eric and I are being reminded daily now of the laws that we are unknowingly breaking along with their respective fines. Did you know that it is illegal to pass more than one car in a passing zone. That was Eric's mistake today. I don't have the need to be in front that he has. But don't get me started on watching my speed. I've always taken a tad more liberty in the speed zone department but now I have my own personal cruise control sitting right beside me! I detest cruise control. While this is annoying, I want to make sure that I set a good example before she gets on the road. At least for awhile. It's not just my driving, but drivers around us who are also not adhering to safe driving standards. She has plenty to say about their driving too.

I can already tell that she is going to be a better driver than me. Of course I had a wreck in my Driver's Education class so the bar is fairly low. It wasn't my fault, but was humiliating all the same driving into my high school parking lot with the car bumper hanging off. Perhaps it was a mistake taking the class with my best friend in the back seat. It's going to be a long but hopefully safer summer for all of us.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Happy

Last week was filled with my daughter's 8th grade graduation. It was hit or miss that I was going to be able to experience all the 8th grade graduation festivities because of Laura delivering grandchild number three any day. Baby Bridget however was extremely considerate and arrived a week early. Yay!

It's been a few years since Laura and Kristen were in 8th grade and I honestly don't remember this much pomp at the conclusion of 8th grade. All the festivities combined rivaled Laura's graduation from UGA! The School reminisced to the extreme at every opportunity, complete with a banquet, professional pictures and even dancing,  a ceremony the next morning with a video montage from the year and charges from every teacher as they go forth into high school. They don't realize it, but they seriously need to pace themselves!

I was trying my best to keep Mr. Jakstadt in a good humor since it was getting to be past his bedtime, especially during the dancing. However, sitting there when I wasn't making small talk with parents that I had just met and would never see again, I admit I had a chance to reflect on the past seven years that we have had with daughter. Even though it was awkward at times during the video because we did not have any adorable infant and toddler pictures like most of her classmates, I was proud of how she/we handled it and proud of how far we had all come as a family. I could see God's hand on our daughter's life these past seven years. I could see his faithfulness to give us wisdom to enroll her in this Christian school where we have seen her blossom into a godly young woman. I could see confidence and joy in her beautiful smile as she danced to, "Happy". I could see that it's time for us to get used to staying up later again.



Saturday, May 17, 2014

Jack Who?

This week Laura, our first born gave birth to a beautiful baby girl aka as "Angel Baby, Bridget". That's two for her and I would say she is on a roll for producing precious baby girls. Just like with her first born, Lucy, I raced to Augusta early Monday morning to make it just in time to see Bridget draw her first breath. Amazing doesn't even come close to describing what it's like to witness this miracle from God.

But, if you know me, you know being able to be with Laura and Jason on this miraculous day is complicated given our family's dismissal of the empty nest or at least postponement. We have living at our house three school aged children. Someone needed to hold down the fort while I was away helping Laura and not just any fort, think Alamo. Jack Bauer is otherwise occupied living another day so who will rescue me? Mr. Jakstadt, that's who. Armed with the Renweb homework website and the map of 50 states packet for our youngest to memorize, a band and recorder concert, he had his work cut out for him this week. Feeding them would be the least of his worries as evidenced by the ramen noodles and beans and hot dogs they ate. No wonder they were happy to see me today! I was greeted in the garage with the report that my son had washed his kindle fire in the washing machine. They are not washable.

Nevertheless, I am reminded once again how wonderful a husband and person Mr. Jakstadt is. He loves  us all hugely and puts his love into action which is the only love language that counts in my book. He sprung into action this week with the 50 states and then some. That was one good decision I made at the age of twenty one to marry Mr. Jakstadt. Who cares if I have to spell it every time I give my name. That's, J A K S T A D T, Jakstadt. Jack Bauer's got nothing on you.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Thanks Mom

Thanks mom for being there. That means a lot, more than I knew at the time. It gave me security to live my life. Thanks mom for loving me unconditionally and being proud of me. That gave me the courage to try things, hard things. Thanks for teaching me manners like saying please and thank you and writing thank you notes and to wear lipstick. Thank you for taking me to the library and teaching me the value of an education. Thanks for sending me money when I was in college when you really didn't have any to spare and not yelling at me when I still overdrew my bank account. Thanks for sharing my joys like no one else, especially the joys of my children. I still love sharing news about them with you. Thanks mostly for teaching me about Jesus and taking me to church. I am grateful everyday for that one. So glad to call you my mom.

Her children arise and call her blessed; Proverbs 31:28 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Roller Coaster Ride

I've recently learned something the hard way. Children break your heart. It's not their fault mind you that you love them so much. But from the moment you give birth to them, it's like your own heart beating and walking around in their body. This is inconvenient to say the least. Every, and I mean every experience that happens to them, happens to you, only more intensely. I was unprepared for this exhilarating, terrifying, nausea producing roller coaster ride of parenthood. But, apparently, I like roller coasters because I came back for more!

I experienced the euphoria of every successful horse jump my daughter ever took and also watched helplessly when she was thrown off.  I agonized with her over every boyfriend breakup, the bad ones and the really terrible ones. Then one day I watched her transform into an amazing young woman with a huge heart who would love and help me transition her three new younger siblings into our family.

Children are oblivious to the effect they have on their parents as they should be, until they have kids of their own and experience it themselves. I know this was the case when we moved to the west coast away from my family. Oh I was homesick alright, but I had no idea I was taking my mother's heart with me to Seattle! I was too busy starting my new adventure. Yet, when I asked my mom how she handled our moving away, she answered, " I knew it was the best decision for your family." She was right. It was. But I didn't know until just now that it's easier to be the one leaving than the one left. It's easier to be the child. Now that my baby girl is moving across the country, it's my turn to be gracious and understanding. I shouldn't be surprised she is leaving, I set the example!

Still, I'm happy and excited for my girl. She is brave and wants to support her husband. How could I not be proud? I know that God has a wonderful plan for her in California and I'm excited to hear all about it. There have been tears and I know there will be more, and I'm not a crier! I love that this is so hard.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Inspired

Love, Love, Loved the MOVE conference this year. It is always inspiring to hear from missionaries from around the world who don't consider themselves special and do not want a pat on the back. They are merely answering the call that God has on their life. The missionary from Africa we heard from last night at our dessert social told us that they have struggles just like we all have struggles, that they just look different. He then proceeded to tell us that they have electricity most of the time, enough to keep a refrigerator running and they are four hours from their p.o. box where they can receive mail. They have found themselves discouraged at times, sometimes very discouraged in their work to share the gospel. They will only get to know their grandchild through Skype if the one flaky Internet connection in town happens to be working. I'm sorry, but my struggles are not worthy to be compared with their struggles.

As he was talking and showing his slide show of his truck stuck in the mud on the road and the grass huts, I'm trying to picture myself there and honestly could not. They are there, a church of two, no Bible studies, no worship services. They are church planters and go where there are no churches. I don't have the best imagination but just the homeschooling part would be enough to do me in. Not to mention, there was no Target in sight! I realized again how ridiculously comfortable I am here in East Cobb. I also realized how blessed I am to have a church where I can freely worship with fellow believers and to remember to pray for those who do not.

Our special guest thanked us for our support and for bringing them to the conference, but he blessed us with his testimony of obedience like I have never seen. He closed with the most amazing statement that he couldn't wait to get back!

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 1 Cor. 9:24

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lucky

Brothers are good I realized anew last weekend. I didn't always feel this way. Growing up I always wanted a sister to shop with, share clothes with, etc. I finally got a sweet one but not until I was twenty years old, and we do shop when we see each other!

Growing up though, I was the responsible older sister often left in charge of two younger brothers who never seemed to appreciate my great wisdom and didn't mind telling me so or worse totally ignoring me. They spent their younger years wrestling and fighting which I honestly found hard to tell apart. They matured into teenagers with very different interests. John was more interested in music and sports while Mark was more into hunting and fishing and rebuilding transmissions, a skill which came in very handy during my early destitute years as an adult. Thanks again, Mark! I was involved in the church youth group and the drum and bugle corp at school along with one or another boyfriend at the time which I considered to be much more mature ways to spend one's time, except maybe the boyfriend.

Flash forward 30 years or so. Last weekend, I found myself going back to my home town to see my ailing step dad and mom. While I was in town, my brothers and I and their spouses (love them!) planned a work weekend at my childhood home

Mark, John and and I met at The Old Spaghetti Warehouse the night I arrived and had a fun time just the three of us catching up before making a plan for the weekend. Now they are ready to listen to me! Not really. We listened to each other as we discussed the various issues we are now facing with our aging parents. The next day as we tackled different tasks, I was amazed at how incredibly capable and generous Mark and John are as adults. Not that I didn't already know this, but working together in our childhood home brought back memories when we were all once young, self centered and less than generous. Together they completely cleaned out and organized the garage, put up lights, made several runs to the Good Will and the dump. The next day John looked at their finances and set up on-line accounts to help them with bill paying, etc. Am I glad I have brothers now! Not only did they lift an old dishwasher among other things into Mark's pick up truck to haul off, but their presence and effort that weekend showed incredible love and honor to my parents.

By the way, this gives me hope for my son who is going through a series of difficult, but normal I'm told, phases. If both my brothers who also went through a couple difficult phases as I recall, turned out to be a successful and loving husbands, fathers and sons, then there's a chance my son can do the same, right? I should be so lucky.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Riding Lesson Blues

Reluctantly, we are once again in the equine world with our third eldest daughter. Believe me we tried to interest her in swimming, soccer, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf to name a few less expensive sports, all in vain. We entered this world once before with Kristen, our second eldest and ended up donating a horse that we had purchased because he was too wild to ride. I digress.

Regardless, here we are with some experience under our belt at least to help us not get to that ridiculous point. She fell in love with horse back riding at camp and I mistakenly gave her a few lessons for her birthday one year. She continued taking lessons once/weekly at the one and only local barn on a horse we did not purchase. The whole barn scene is messy anyway with the mud and dust and manure and horse dander that I happen to be allergic to, but their bookkeeping is worse. Trying to decipher where I stand with payments is proving to be frustrating to say the least. The trainer has one record, the owner has another record and I have a different record of where I stand.  But the day in question happens to be the day that our daughter put the car into the fence at the church parking lot. That day has been burned into my brain and I am positive she did not take a riding lesson!

I'm sorry to say that my first reaction was to pull her out completely and never darken the door of the dusty, mucky, allergen producing barn again. I don't need this in my life! Thankfully, the voice of reason, aka, TVOR stopped me. He comes in handy now and again. This gave me time to realize I have a great opportunity here to be pleasant and patient and Christian. I called the owner yesterday and had a very nice conversation with her with an idea of how to keep better track of lessons taken. She still has to get with the trainer and get back to me, but I'm hopeful that we can continue with lessons. Is that a good thing? I'm not sure, but at least I didn't lose my testimony! For that I can be thankful.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas Memories with the Babies

Christmas has come and gone. Another year of memories made. Christmas is like that. One always remembers Christmas. It is usually not the memories that we anticipate having, but the wonderful spontaneous memories that we make. Take Christmas brunch for example. I purchased or rather had Eric purchase fresh roses for the table and I pre-made a Christmas Breakfast casserole to eat altogether for breakfast in the dining room on my beautiful Christmas dishes while recounting blessings of the past year. I have actual Christmas memories of doing just this in years past with Laura and Kristen, but now we have 3 additional children, 2 spouses, 2 young grandchildren and 3 dogs collectively. Instead, we ate standing up in the kitchen at all different times, taking turns to watch Lucy or hold Wyatt so Laura and Kristen could eat. I'm not sure where the flowers were and I don't even recall blessing the food before we ate! Instead Jason read the Christmas Story from the Jesus Storybook Bible to Lucy before opening gifts. We listened too.



Dinner was late also but spectacular with my first ever beef tenderloin and Laura's amazing Southern Living's 5 Layer Red Velvet White Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert. That child of mine loves a challenge! We did make it to the dining room and even went around recounting blessings of the past year. Better late than never!



The same held true for the Christmas Eve service. I neglected to register Lucy for childcare so she sat in the service with us on the second row for maximum exposure. Somehow Laura and Jason armed with a  bag of tricks and genuine creativity managed to amuse Lucy along with the leftover juice in Laura's communion cup. I feel the Lord will understand and forgive her. Laura later said that she immediately started strategizing which distractions to take out when, saving the best treats for the sermon portion of the service. Lucy was heading over to wake peacefully sleeping 4 week old cousin Wyatt, when the service ended just in time. Whew! Exhausting for Laura and Jason, but a wonderful Christmas memory to have our newest family members with us in the service. And Lucas did great lighting the Advent candle.



I discovered it's handy to have people of all ages and lots of them around to entertain the babies. Lucas and Lucy deepened their affection for one another as he holds nothing back to amuse his little niece. He never tires of entertaining her and she never tires of being entertained, the perfect combination! I did nab some alone time with Lucy to play a fun game of peekaboo with her and give her a bath while everyone else went to a movie. Afterward, with her sippy cup of milk, she relaxed with me while we watched a bit of Pretty Woman. Is that bad? Regardless, a memory I will treasure.